Remote recruiting: 8 challenges—and solutions!

October 21, 2022 Updated: November 29, 2023 7 min read

We’ve all heard the phrase—we’re living in the “new normal.” We might be tired of hearing it, but the world, and the world of work, has changed. And recruiting—the process of attracting, interviewing, and hiring candidates—is no exception. 

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In this piece, we’ll discuss the biggest challenges of adjusting to remote recruitment, and how to overcome them.

Remote work is here to stay  

Before the pandemic, fewer than 6% of people worked remotely. Then people were forced to work from home. Employees discovered a few perks—no commute, more time with pets, and all-day athleisure. But, of course, there were challenges: family interruptions, crashing internet, and screen fatigue.  

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After restrictions lifted, the benefits of remote work outweighed the drawbacks. Nearly 60% still work remotely today, and 87% of people would if given the chance. And with more remote workers than ever before, recruiting is adapting to meet their needs. 

Why remote recruiting?

Remote recruiting isn’t going away—to the benefit of both companies and job applicants. Here are some of the advantages: 

  • More options. No need to interview people in just one geographic region—find prospective hires in other cities, states, or even countries. Applicants, too, don’t need to restrict themselves to jobs close to home. They can find work they love in places they never thought possible. 
  • Increase productivity. Screen, interview, and hire more candidates with advanced recruitment software. Streamline the hiring process with video conferencing software or remote recruiting tools, and you’ll get face to face with more great applicants. 
  • Save time. No need to coordinate travel or bring hiring teams together for in-person meetings. With the right technology, the remote hiring process is more efficient and candidates are less likely to drop out. You’ll be able to retain top talent and get them on your team faster. 
  • More flexibility. Finding time to connect with prospective candidates is much easier when each party only needs a good internet connection. You’ll eliminate risky commutes, time zone conflicts, and scheduling issues. And applicants can fit meetings into their schedule instead of taking time away from existing obligations. 
  • Save money. Avoid travel costs with remote recruiting. And screen more applicants to find the right people (then avoid hiring mistakes). When you know you’ve found top talent, they’ll be worth the investment of onboarding and training, and they’ll find success in their new roles. 

Remote recruiting may have become the norm by chance, but it’s changing the way organizations hire—for the better. 

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The challenges of remote recruiting 

While remote recruiting is integral to today’s hiring process, it doesn’t come without its difficulties. We’ve identified the top eight challenges posed by remote recruiting—and how you can overcome them. 

  1. Applicant pools

The challenge: Recruiters are faced with screening more respondents than ever before—sometimes from workers all over the globe. They risk becoming overwhelmed with options, and hiring teams may have difficulty identifying the right people to interview.  

The solution: The best way to handle increased applications is to take advantage of smart recruiting technology. Use specialized software to automatically screen and identify the best candidates. Ensure each job posting is as accurate as possible so you attract only the most qualified candidates, and use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to stay connected with your pool of talent. Automate other tasks that don’t need to take up your attention—like managing reference checks or fact checking. Instead, focus on finding your ideal candidate.  

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  1. Time zones

The challenge: A wider pool of candidates brings logistical challenges. Applicants in different locations and time zones might find it difficult to schedule screening calls or interviews. And remote communications via email or text can result in time-consuming back-and-forth.  

The solution: Use scheduling software to coordinate with potential employees in different time zones. Set your availability and let others schedule meetings within open blocks to reduce miscommunication. As much as possible, optimize overlaps in time zones for real-time conversations. And if schedules don’t line up, use interview technology that lets candidates pre-record responses so hiring teams can still make informed decisions. 

  1. Skill evaluation

The challenge: Assessing candidates remotely can be difficult. Evaluating hard and soft skills remotely can be especially challenging for remote recruiters that have never done so before. Real-time evaluations might not be possible. And some applicants might be too uncomfortable with technology to leave a good impression. 

The solution: Don’t go into the interview process unsure of what you’re looking for. Be clear about what skills are important for potential employees to have, then structure interviews around that. Question banks are helpful for accurately evaluating applicants, and providing test projects or skills surveys can also help hiring managers find the best talent.  

  1. Technical needs

The challenge: Running into tech problems—grainy video, slow internet, bad audio—can be especially problematic when they interrupt video interviews or phone calls. Not all candidates have access to the right technology or workspaces, and disruptions to the flow of conversation can lead to misunderstandings or feelings of frustration.

The solution: Staying flexible—and having a backup plan or allowing reschedules—is important. The best thing employers can do is prepare for remote recruiting and interviewing with the right technology. Use platforms specifically built for remote recruiting and interviewing instead of just using whatever video conference tool is downloaded on your computer. Your hiring process will be more consistent and easier to manage. 

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  1. Onboarding

The challenge: Without in-person interaction, remote workers might not feel as engaged with a remote interview or onboarding process. They might be left struggling to adapt to their roles or company culture. This could also translate to low productivity and a less promising future with the organization. 

The solution: Deliver a positive interview experience to get off on the right foot. Then connect new hires with other remote employees to keep them engaged. Consider appointing a touchpoint person that each new hire can talk to regularly. And provide informative video training so employees have the tools they need to effectively adjust to their new role. 

  1. Engagement

The challenge: Remote candidates don’t socialize the same way in-person employees do, so folding them into their remote team can be hard. Some people also have difficulty acting naturally on-camera—they might find themselves over-gesturing, speaking too quickly, or using a different tone of voice. They might struggle to feel relaxed enough to get to know others. 

The solution: As new hires get adjusted to their new roles, foster an environment of open communication—use instant messenger tools instead of lengthy emails to reach out, and touch base over the phone regularly. Setting up brief meetings with new employees and other team members can help them get to know co-workers more quickly too. Team-building virtual events can also be helpful—like multiplayer video games or virtual coffee meetings—or company social media groups. Help new employees find their place in their team, and avoid low morale and isolation. 

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  1. Salary disbursement

The challenge: When you’re hiring from all over the globe, you need to find ways to pay employees all over the globe. Adhering to different tax and income laws is now a challenge for your company’s human resources team. Keeping employees paid on time and accurately is a satisfaction issue, and ensuring you’re following the law is a compliance issue. Both require attention. 

The solution: Specialized software exists to help your business manage the challenges of salary disbursement. The right technology can help reduce the burden on human resources personnel and make sure your employees get paid the right amount on time. Remote payroll and compliance teams can also help support your remote workforce. 

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  1. Contract laws

The challenge: Your employee in Europe is going to be working under different labor laws than your employee in Ohio. It can feel tedious—and almost impossible—to make sure you’re following laws across the globe, but it’s an important part of working with remote talent. Your organization needs to be able to meet each employee’s needs, no matter where they’re from. 

The solution: Consider hiring experts in law and compliance. Use contract templates that can be easily adjusted for each prospective candidate’s needs. And, of course, take advantage of technology solutions whenever you can to communicate and share important documents with ease. 

The new world of work brings its own challenges, but there’s no need for anxiety. There’s a solution to every problem—it just takes a little planning ahead. And the right technology

Clovers can help

The future of work requires adjusting. But here’s the good news: as the world continues to move towards remote work, Clovers can help you evolve too. Hire smarter, better, faster—and remotely—with Clovers’ intelligent interview software. Request your demo or try for free today.

Jackie White headshot

Jackie brings over a decade of HR technology experience to Clovers. She’s passionate about helping companies build talented and diverse (dream) teams and delivering an incredible hiring experience to everyone involved.

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